The word “aquamation” sounds as if something from an Aquaman movie, but it actually has to do with cremation.
The Aloha state is revolutionizing the way we practice cremation. Underwater cremation, also known as aquamation or alkaline hydrolysis, is making waves in the funeral industry. Hawaii, with its breathtaking ocean vistas, is at the forefront of this eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation. In this article, we explore how Hawaii is leading the way in transforming the end-of-life ritual through innovative underwater cremation practices.
Hawaii’s pristine marine environment and deep cultural connection to the ocean have spurred the adoption of underwater cremation as a natural and sustainable option. This revolutionary process involves dissolving the body in a mixture of water and alkaline chemicals, resulting in gentle decomposition. The remains, known as “cremains,” can then be returned to the sea, honoring the Hawaiian belief in the circle of life and the eternal bond with the ocean.
Compared to traditional cremation methods, underwater cremation in Hawaii offers significant environmental advantages. The process consumes less energy, emits fewer greenhouse gases, and eliminates the need for embalming chemicals. Furthermore, it avoids the use of caskets and reduces land usage. By choosing underwater cremation, individuals can leave a smaller ecological footprint and contribute to the preservation of Hawaii’s natural beauty.
For the people of Hawaii, the ocean is a sacred entity deeply intertwined with their culture and spirituality. Underwater cremation aligns with the Hawaiian belief in the spiritual significance of water and allows individuals to reconnect with their roots. This practice ensures a final farewell that harmonizes with cultural traditions, reflecting the profound respect and reverence for nature that defines the Hawaiian way of life.
Hawaii’s innovative approach to underwater cremation offers a range of personalization options. Families can choose to witness the process through eco-friendly ceremonies conducted on specially designed vessels. Additionally, individuals can select personalized memorials such as biodegradable urns or living coral reef formations, creating a lasting tribute that resonates with their loved one’s unique connection to the ocean.
As the birthplace of underwater cremation, Hawaii is transforming the way we bid farewell to our loved ones. By embracing eco-friendly practices, preserving cultural traditions, and offering personalization options, Hawaii has become a pioneer in revolutionizing the funeral industry while honoring the profound connection between land, sea, and spirit.
You can read more about the process of aquamation, here.